Wintonbury Lent Devotional | Week 2
Who Do You Say That He Is?
by Shirley Whiddon
Jesus Before the Sandhedrin
This passage shows both Jesus' deity and his humanity - he was both God and man.
Jesus most frequently referred to himself as the "Son of Man" (82 times), and He was the only one who used this term in the Gospels.
By contrast, the phrase "Son of God" occurs 42 times in the New Testament, and 22 of those references are in the Gospels, usually said about Jesus by others. This included the angel who announced to Mary that she would bear a son (Luke 1:35), Nathaniel whom Philip brought to Jesus (John 1:49), Martha just before Jesus raised her brother Lazarus from the dead (John 11:27) and the centurion who witnessed Jesus' death (Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39).
Who do you say that He is?
And what does that mean to you?
When the servant girl told Peter "even the way you talk gives you away" (Matthew 26:73 NASB), she most likely meant that Peter's Galilean accent stood out in Jerusalem. However, his words also "gave away" or revealed what was in his heart.
What do your words reveal about you?
In two of Peter's three denials, he used a common phrase from Jewish law to indicate a formal, legal denial, which was a strong statement.
In Matthew 10:33 Jesus says "Whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven."
Do your words deny Him or acknowledge Him?
Luke notes that after Peter's third denial, Jesus turned and looked straight at him. Both Matthew and Luke record that Peter then went outside and wept bitterly. Contrast this with Peter's previous mountain top experiences: walking on the water, being with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, and declaring at the Last Supper that he would follow Jesus even if it meant his own death.
Then Peter denied Him before a servant girl, abandoned Him into the hands of his accusers and was absent at the Crucifixion.
Later Peter encountered the Risen Lord on the Emmaus Road, and after Pentecost, preached the Gospel boldly despite threats and danger, was miraculously delivered from prison by an angel and penned two books of the New Testament.
What does this tell us about God's forgiveness and restoration when there is genuine repentance?